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ELIZABETH FUTRAL has established herself as one of the major coloratura sopranos in the world today. With her stunning vocalism, vast dramatic range, and great beauty, she has embraced a diverse repertoire that includes Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Glass, and Previn.
Of her spectacular debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Lucia di Lammermoor, The New York Times wrote: "Her singing was sure, virtuoso and yet still lighted by humanity . . . " Ms. Futral returns to the Metropolitan Opera this season for further performances of Lucia di Lammermoor in the Parks, and next season will sing the role of Princess Eudoxie in the new production of La Juive.
Ms. Futral is an artist of tremendous versatility. In 1994, she catapulted to stardom in a critically acclaimed production of Delibes' Lakmé, at the New York City Opera. In 1996, she was invited to the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the city of Rossini's birth, to sing the title role in Matilde di Shabran, in the first production of this opera in 175 years. During the same year, she starred as Catherine in Meyerbeer's rarely performed L'Etoile du Nord at the Wexford Festival. Two years later, Ms. Futral scored a major triumph at the San Francisco Opera when she originated the role of Stella in the world premiere of Sir André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.
Ms. Futral has garnered raves at the world's greatest opera houses in such roles as Gilda, Juliette, Lakmé, Lucia, Nanetta, Mélisande, Romilda, and Violetta. She dazzled audiences and critics with her debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Cleopatra in Francisco Negrin's acclaimed production of Handel's Giulio Cesare. This was followed by her highly anticipated return to the New York City Opera, where she starred in the title role of the company's new production of Douglas Moore's classic American opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe. She sang Nanetta in a new production of Verdi's Falstaff at the Bayerische Staatsoper under the direction of Zubin Mehta. This season, she opened the 2002/03 Washington Opera season as Lucia di Lammermoor to tremendous acclaim and sang her first performances of Marie in la Fille du Régiment with the Vancouver Opera.
Ms. Futral has a long and close association with the Lyric Opera of Chicago where she began her career. Of the many roles she has sung there, it is of special note that she has performed both Gianetta and Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, and Barbarina and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro.
Highlights of recent seasons include touring to Japan with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Zubin Mehta; the Brahms Requiem and Krenek's Die Nachtigall with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas; Lucia di Lammermoor with Dallas Opera conducted by Richard Bonynge; and Curley's Wife in Of Mice and Men with Houston Grand Opera. Ms. Futral recently sang her first performances of Konstanze with the Houston Grand Opera in a new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail directed by James Robinson and conducted by the company's music director, Patrick Summers. She reprised the role in concert performances of this opera with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Sir Colin Davis. Recitals have included visits to Chicago, Washington, DC, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Philadelphia.
Elizabeth Futral made her New York Philharmonic debut in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 under the direction of Zubin Mehta, has performed in a concert version of Berlioz' Benvenuto Cellini with the London Symphony conducted by Sir Colin Davis, and was a guest artist on the 2000 New Year's Eve Gala Concert with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Claudio Abbado which is scheduled for release on DVD by Euroarts Music International. The list of distinguished conductors with whom Ms. Futral has collaborated also includes Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, and Harry Bicket.
Ms. Futral's extensive discography includes Meyerbeer's L'Etoile du Nord for Marco Polo, Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges conducted by Maestro Previn for Deutsche Grammophon, and Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox for Euphorbia Records. She has recorded Rossini's Otello and Pacini's Carlo di Borgogna for Opera Rara, Lucia di Lammermoor and a solo aria recital for Chandos as part of their "Opera in English" series. Ms. Futral can also be heard on Sweethearts, a collection of operetta favorites on Newport Classics.
Elizabeth Futral can be seen as Stella in the video of A Streetcar Named Desire on the Kultur label and has been featured on Live from Lincoln Center, and A&E's Breakfast With the Arts.